The Maldives National Defence Force has assured the public that India will not gain any information that would jeopardize national security during the hydrographic survey that the Indian Navy began today in Maldivian waters.
The MNDF held a press conference held today regarding the arrival of the Indian Naval survey ship, the INS Darshak, to the Maldives today to undertake the hydrographic survey. Dhiyares, sister-newspaper of The Maldives Journal, asked the panel if the national security committee of MNDF believed that a hydrographic survey conducted by the Indian military was truly in the best interests of the country given that India would be well-positioned to learn strategic information about the Maldives and its geography through such a survey.
In response, Col. Mohamed Saleem of the National Coast Guard said that the hydrographic survey mainly focused on mapping Maldivian waters. He added that this survey was part of other similar projects that had been undertaken in the past.
The areas that would be surveyed were decided upon by the government, through consultation with the National Committee on Hydrography, and therefore, these areas would not have been decided upon if India were to learn any information that would pose a strategic threat, said Saleem.
This work is necessary for national development, added Saleem.
It is worth nothing that while an Indian Naval vessel is currently in the Maldives for the survey, there are several local surveying companies that are capable of carrying out such a hydrographic survey who had not been approached by the government for this project. In addition, the Ministry of Defence has adamantly refused to disclose any information pertaining to the agreement pertaining to the survey.